- Tue, 10/11/2011 - 10:21
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An international initiative called Café Scientifique continues to gain popularity as a way to bring science to life in schools and communities of Uganda. The interactive meetings – organized in Uganda by one woman – have earned local followers and national recognition.
The mobile phone is now becoming a basic need for every individual both rural and urban. Therefore, Café Scientifique has proved to be an effective forum in the Ugandan community, where adults and students in schools meet experts to freely discuss new insights or challenges of science and technology.”
Duncan Dallas says the cafés aim to urge students to take ownership of what they’re learning.
“The impact of Café Scientifique in Uganda is to make science more accessible and informal to pupils, to promote the idea that sciences can be discussed and questioned – not just taught – and to encourage self-confidence in pupils through respectful discussion,” he says.
After starting small in Entebbe, Café Scientifique is now recognized at the national level in Uganda. The National Council for Science and Technology, the lead government body on research, in conjunction with the African Technology Policy Studies Network, an organization that deals with science-related policy, included a Café Scientifique conference as one activity during National Science Week last year. Twenty schools and more than 200 students attended the conference.
Café Scientifique will again hold a conference during this year’s National Science Week, which is being held this week. The theme for this year is “Science, Technology, Innovation and You.” The Café Scientifique conference is scheduled for tomorrow for secondary school students in Kampala.
Beyond National Science Week, a number of schools have even made the cafés a regular part of their curricula.